Oberharzer Bergwerksmuseum

Useful Information

Location: In the town Clausthal-Zellerfeld, in the town center of the the Zellerfeld part, in the historic town hall. From A7 exit Seesen, follow B242 towards Osterrode, turn oof onto B241 towards Goslar and Clausthal-Zellerfeld. From Braunschweig A39 towards Bad Harzburg, turn off to Goslar and then B241 to Clausthal-Zellerfeld.
Open: All year daily 10-17.
Closed 24-DEC.
Fee: Adults EUR 6, Children (6-16) EUR 3, Children (0-5) frei, Students EUR 3, Disabled EUR 3, Family (2+2) EUR 15.
Groups (15+): Adults EUR 5, Children (6-16) EUR 2,50.
Classification: SubterraneaMuseum
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: Mine tunnel: L=250 m.
Guided tours: e.guide EMIL for the yard.
regular guided tours through the show mine.
Bibliography: Helmut Radday (2002): Das Oberharzer Bergwerksmuseum Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Führer durch das Museum mit einem Abriß zur Kultur- und Technikgeschichte des Oberharzes
2. Aufllage, Oberharzer Geschichts- und Museumsverein, Clausthal-Zellerfeld 2002 (Deutsch - German)
Address: Das Oberharzer Bergwerksmuseum, Bornhardtstraße 16, 38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Tel: +49-5323-98950, Tel: +49-5323-989569. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.




The Oberharzer Bergwerksmuseum (Mining Museun Upper Harz) is more than 100 years old and one of the oldest technologic museum of Germany. The main topic of the museum is the mining history of the area from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. In more than 20 rooms, located in the historic town hall of Zellerfeld, it gives an overview about the technological innovations which were developed in the area. The exponates include coind, miners lamps, working historic models of mining machinery, ore processing, and furnaces. There is also the possiblity to see historic movies like the documentary Der Erzbergbau im Oberharz um 1920 (ore mining in the upper Harz around 1920).

The coins are symbol for the long tradition of minting in the Harz. The polymetallic ore contained a lot of silver and some gold, so the metal was minted right at the mining site. Most mines were owned by the sovereign who also gave the right of miniting to the towns. The huge amount of wooden models were created during the 18th and 19th century at the Clausthaler Bergschule (Clausthal Mining School) for educational reasons. The models at the museum are only a part of the huge collection of the mining school. Until to today the models are a very effective way to explain the function of the machinery.

Probably the most important invention of this area is the steel cable. It was invented by Julius Albert in Clausthal-Zellerfeld in the year 1834. It was intended as an innovation for mining, but today it is used in many ways tody. Most important are probably its use in elevators and cable cars.

A special exhibit is the show mine, which is part of the museum. It is an original size replica of a mine, as there was never a real mine at this place. Many parts of this replica were relocated from a mine in the nearby Bockswiese. Most interesting is the real size model of a Fahrkunst, the first elevater of the world. This were actuall two parallel, vertical, wooden beams with plattforms. The were moved up- and down by water power, where always on was going up while the other was going down. By different ways to change the beams the miners could both ride up and down. This invention was imortant as the mines had become several hundred meters deep and the miners could spare a lot of time with this elevator.

Behind the building lies a yard with the bigger exponates, machinery and tools from mines of the area which were collected and relocated. Interesting are for example the horse mill, the flatrod system, the wooden water wheel, and the grinder.

Associated with the museum is the show mine Ottiliae-Schacht, located about two kilometers south. Here the technologies used to lift the ore from the mine are explained. Most important exhibit is the 1876 by the Königlichen Zentralschmiede (Royal Blacksmith) produced headframe. This is the oldest headframe in Germany.